IC bar fined for serving minor

By Gregg Hennigan

IOWA CITY – A judge on Wednesday ordered a downtown Iowa City bar to pay a $500 fine for selling alcohol to a minor.

The fine is for a first offense by Studio 13, located at 13 S. Linn St., for an incident from last October.

During a compliance check set up by the Iowa City Police Department, a Studio 13 doorman gave a 20-year-old man a bracelet signifying he was 21 or older and a bartender served him a beer, according to documents on the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division that can be seen here.

The bar can appeal the decision.

A second violation within two years would result in a 30-day suspension of the bar’s liquor license and a $1,500 fine.

Three violations in three years would bring an additional 60-day suspension and another $1,500 fine. Four violations within three years carries an automatic revocation of the license for at least two years.

Other Iowa City businesses have been repeat offenders in recent years, including the Waterfront Hy-Vee and what was formerly known as the Que Bar.

People sometimes say that the penalities seem stiff for selling to a minor, given that in a college town like Iowa City there presumably are a lot of underage people drinking in bars. Some of this seems to be from confusion over the difference between a selling to a minor violation and a ticket for underage possession of alcohol.

In the former, the establishment is cited.  With a possession ticket, which is much more common and is known as a PAULA, the individual is cited.

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